The Gospel today tells us of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. In the intimacy of a meal Jesus experiences great suffering at the hands of two of his friends, his trusted disciples, two that he loved deeply. We, too, may have known betrayal or been denied by a close friend or even a family member. That wound may not have been healed yet, even years later. On the other hand we ourselves may have been the betrayer or the one who denied another in some way. We wonder how this fall from grace can be repaired. We have only to look to the merciful God and open our hearts for forgiveness. We know that a glance from Jesus was Peter’s answer that he was forgiven. We cannot judge Judas. Perhaps his first step in asking forgiveness was when he returned the thirty pieces of silver to the Jewish leaders.
May we continue to grow in forgiving others and in asking to be forgiven. Maybe we must take it one step at a time. If we are able to forgive in our own space, in our own time this power of forgiveness can reach out into the world and truly make a difference. It will help grow the Beloved Community dreamed of by Martin Luther King.